A tile manufacturer has been prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after an employee's arm was drawn into the in-running nip of a conveyor tail drum.
On 18 February 2019, the worker was attempting to fix a machine by removing sand from the inside of the conveyor belt at Spartan Promenade Tiles's premises in Colchester, Essex. His left glove got caught, pulling his hand and arm into the machine.
The emergency stop button was faulty, so a colleague ran to another building to alert the operator at the control panel to turn the machine off. The worker suffered three breaks to his left arm and crush injuries to his forearm.
Investigators found that Spartan failed to suitably assess the risks, implement a safe system of work, and control the risks. Employees were not trained in the use of isolation or lock off procedures for the machinery on site, nor were employees made aware that such procedures existed, the court was told.
There were no arrangements for the supervision or monitoring of employees to ensure they were correctly isolating and locking off machinery before completing maintenance tasks, and there was no functioning emergency stop in the vicinity of the conveyor tail drum. The guard on the conveyor tail drum had been removed and the conveyor was put into operation, said the HSE.
At Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court, the company admitted breaching section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act and was ordered to pay a fine of £10,000 plus full costs.
'This injury could have been easily prevented and the risks should have been identified,' said HSE inspector Connor Stowers after the hearing.
'Employers need to properly assess and apply effective control measures to minimise the risk from dangerous parts of machinery, and adequately train their workers to use isolation and lock off procedures if they carry out maintenance work.'